Councillor Zoe Patrick of Grove & Wantage elected new Oxfordshire County Council Chairman

Oxfordshire County Council has elected a new Chairman for the 2017/18 council year.

Councillor Zoe Patrick, one of the council’s elected representative for Grove & Wantage, has taken over the role from Councillor Michael Waine who served for the 2016/17 council year.

She has lived in Grove for more than year 30 years. She is married to Glenn, a particle physicist, with two grown-up children and two grandchildren. Councillor Patrick has been a councillor for 20 years, serving on both the Vale of White Horse District Council and Oxfordshire County Council. She is a school governor at Charlton Primary School in Wantage. Her interests include the theatre, walking, reading and wildlife. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

She said : “Having served as Vice Chairman to Cllr Michael Waine during 2016/17 and as a county councillor for many years I am aware of what this important job involves.

“I hope to visit many Oxfordshire localities to see those areas through the eyes of local county councillors.

“An ongoing part of my year will be to fully understand the work of outstanding county staff and assure them of our appreciation.

“It is an honour and privilege to be elected to this role and to follow in the footsteps of a host of highly respected county councillors to undertake this job since the council was formed in the 1970s.”

New Deputy Chairman

Councillor Gill Sanders has been elected to the role of Vice Chairman. Councillor Sanders represents Rose Hill and Littlemore in Oxford.

Gill has lived in Oxford for more than 40 years and has been an Oxford City Councillor for 25 years. She had been an HR and Administration Manager from a city comprehensive school and worked Oxfordshire schools for 25 years all told. Her special interests are working to ensure adequate and appropriate provision for young and older people.

What is the role of the Chairman?

The chairman is the ceremonial head of the council. The chairman must be a serving county councillor, but must remain politically impartial. A chairman must not be a member of the Cabinet.

Ceremonial duties include:• being the politically impartial civic leader of Oxfordshire• promoting the objectives and services of the county council and Oxfordshire itself• acting as an ambassador for the county council and Oxfordshire• fostering community identity and pride.

Key responsibilities include:• presiding over meetings of the full council• accepting invitations on behalf of the county council to attend events• inviting individuals and representatives